I live close to a legendary road that weaves through the countryside with hills and valleys, twists and turns. It’s a favourite for local motorcyclists and police speed-trappers alike. Learning to navigate the road at high speed, on two wheels, to achieve maximum adrenaline rush whilst, at the same time, to minimise danger to self and others, can be a thrilling challenge. Every time I reach the end of that road to pause for a break and savour the moment, it takes at least an hour to get the wild grin off my face. ‘It’s the next best thing to sex!’, shouts one of my biker mates, wild with enthusiasm as he screeches to a halt beside me. I laugh and nod, flip the visor, pray, twist the throttle and cruise home.
Yet why the rush, the buzz, the high? What’s the relevance to leadership, coaching, training or OD? It’s something about achieving peak performance, being ‘in the zone’, that can stimulate and release incredible energy. It’s the amazing power of a dynamic synergy that emerges, like magic, between (1) person, (2) resources and (3) environment – which, in this case above, includes: rider, bike and road. If we too want to reach the peak and to live to tell the tale, we do well to pay attention to all 3. When do you experience peak performance at work? How, in practice, do you release, enable and synergise people, resources and environment to achieve healthy, engaging and life-giving success?